- Published on Saturday, 05 July 2014 21:27
KUALA LUMPUR - Putrajaya’s warning that a repeat of the May 13, 1969 race riots was not unthinkable amounted to an admission of its failure to maintain ties among the country’s ethnic communities, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said today.
Seizing on Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s reported caution about deteriorating ethnic relations in the country, the DAP national advisor added that this also communicated the failure the Najib administration’s “1 Malaysia” policy.
“The first duty of any federal government in Malaysia, whether Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, is to ensure that another May 13 is not possible in Malaysia.
“A Malaysian federal government which allowed ethnic ties to deteriorate until the deputy prime minister could publicly suggest that ‘another May 13 is not impossible’ has lost all moral and political justification to continue to rule the country,” Lim said in a statement today.
The Gelang Patah MP added that Muhyddin’s remarks warranted an emergency meeting of the Cabinet to discuss measures to stave off the possible unrest the latter was warning off.
Lim then added that a failure to do so would equate to tacit approval for “a small group of extremists” he said has been polarising racial and religious ties over the past year.
Speaking during a Ramadan even in Pagoh, Johor yesterday, Muhyiddin said ethnic tensions that were allowed to simmer would lead to unrest when the various communities start to eye each other with suspicion.
“Because of that there exist all kinds of assumptions when ethnic ties become strained and unhealthy. This can cause that event and I do not want to mention the particular date,” he was quoted as saying by Malay language daily Utusan Malaysia.
Muhyiddin did not mention the date specifically but Utusan Malaysia inserted May 13, 1969 to his quote in parentheses.
Muslims and Christians have been pitted against one another due to the government’s decision to prohibit the Catholic Church from using “Allah”, the Arabic word for God, in its weekly newsletter.
Malay concerns over the Bumiputera special privileges have also bubbled to the surface in recent months after Putrajaya’s National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) proposed three draft bills to replace the Sedition Act.
Hundreds of Malaysians are believed to have died during the May 13, 1969 clashes between the Malay and Chinese communities. Although ostensibly triggered by the results of Election 1969, it was rooted in ethnic tensions between the two communities.
- The Malay Mail